It turns out that Monday is the deadline for entries to the Big Dance Event so OwnerGuy cornered me before my lesson to arrange for a time for us to go to the little room so I could see what he had planned. I hate making commitments and getting tied down and I wasn’t prepared to make a big decision like that yesterday. But, there was some email traffic from the family and there was general consensus that missing the weekend would be OK because there would still be an opportunity to get together. So, in the end, despite all my anxiety, I ended up agreeing to go and I gave them my credit card so we are locked and loaded.
Same pattern as previous events. We’ll do open and closed categories in two age groups for the nine main dances (Waltz, Tango, Fox Trot, Viennese Waltz, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero and Mambo). I’m skipping scholarship which was also OwnerGuy’s plan but I decided to do the all around because that is closed stuff and I’ve been doing those for years. Then, I agreed to do the Viennese Waltz routine Kid T and I have been working on so I’m doing a solo on the big stage. He threw out some other dances but I decided to keep my focus on what I knew.
The bad news is I couldn’t seem to get out of the “meet and greet” big party on Thursday night. I don’t want to be bothered with making my own transportation arrangements to the Big Dance Event so OwnerGuy is going to drive but everyone is going up in time to do this kick off event. I guess it won’t be so bad since Kid T will be there and there will be a few more students from the studio but I’d really rather just have a quite dinner and be alone. Oh, and there is a theme on Friday so I have to find something appropriate to wear for that night. And, I need to come up with some kind of costume for our solo. Yes, I know, first world problems and all.
Kid T and Sunny were all “are you excited”. No, I’m just a little stressed out right now. But, in time, I think it will all be good. Right now, I’m also trying to avoid setting unrealistic expectations in my head but that’s always hard to do since I live inside my head a lot.
So what else happened last night?
I got there a little early for my lesson and there weren’t any other students around. Z had taken the opportunity to let the staff do some role play so Kid T and Sunny were playing the part of a new couple while Cosmo was the instructor and the new girl was observing. The focus appeared to be on how to sell more lessons and they had a script they needed to follow. Z would point out what he didn’t say and some other things. There was a part that reminded me of how we would use certain phrases when I worked the drive through at a fast food place many years ago. If someone said they wanted fries or a drink without specifying a size, your response was supposed to be “was that a large drink?” The theory was that more often than not, someone will just answer “yes” to a random question rather than correcting you. (Yes, we were trained to say that). So part of the script was to kind of force the hand to get the couple to talk to either OwnerGuy or Z who would then, theoretically, seal the deal and sell a package of lessons.
Logically, I can easily wrap my head around the fact that this is a business and they sell dreams as a package of lessons. But there is another part of me that really doesn’t want to see that side of things. It is kind of like when I see a truck carrying cows or pigs somewhere. I love a good burger and bacon but I always feel a twinge of guilt when I see the little pigs with the noses sticking out of the holes in the truck. I just don’t need that reminder. And hearing some of the sales tactics and the script just made it seem more like they are used car salesmen and not dance instructors. Later in the evening, both Cosmo and the new girl were walking around the floor with their scripts in hand trying to make sure they’ve got everything memorized. I don’t know if there is some kind of evaluation coming up soon but, since male teachers don’t grow on trees in these parts, I would be doing all I could to keep Cosmo around.
I had two lessons last night. Kid T and I continued working on the Viennese Waltz routine because she also wants to do it at the Big Dance Event and we needed to add some new material. We didn’t quite get it all done but she assures me it will be ready to go come the Big Dance Event. At one point, OwnerGuy is watching us do some things and he jumps on the lesson and shows me a couple of things to make the move we were doing a little better. So he does appear to be sticking to his word and showing a little more interest in my progress and that is a good thing. As I’ve said, for me, rebuilding trust is a long and slow process but this is another step in the right direction.
Finished up with the Quickstep and Sunny. She took the hopping steps out and came up with an alternative. We are going to have to learn how to curve these steps because she’s got us flying across the short side of the floor and I quickly run out of room. But it is coming together nicely. We won’t be doing a full debut until fall Showcase so there is plenty of time.
So that was my first day back. My main goal for the next month is to just get in a calm place about the Big Dance Event. I’ve done Showcases with Kid T but this will be a new experience at a larger event. There is really no pressure so it should be all about enjoying the experience and trying to have some fun.